TIEC In-House Experts

Meet Our Experts: TIEC In-House Expertise

Robin J. Lerner, J.D.

International and Governmental Relations and J1 Visas

Robin Lerner is a seasoned executive leader. As president of TIEC, she establishes the vision and direction of one of the country’s largest statewide consortium of universities. Having served as a deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, she directly led four offices, 80 staff and oversaw the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program, an industry of international exchange with 1,400 implementers. Ms. Lerner also helped lead the broader bureau and its $600 million grant-making capacity. She is an expert on the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program, public-private partnerships, academic and professional international exchange, Congressional and government relations, international human rights and public diplomacy.

Heather Farmakis, Ph.D.

Expert in Online Learning, Leadership and Executive Leadership and more

Dr. Heather Farmakis joined Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC) in August 2018 and serves as their Chief Learning Officer. Dr. Farmakis’s expertise is in online learning, leadership and executive education programs, educational product development, accreditation, business development, and program evaluation. Prior to joining TIEC, Dr. Farmakis offered professional development and consulting services for association executives, school leadership, and business owners.

Steven Kroman, M.A.

Foreign Language Education, U.S. Academic Systems, and ESL/EFL Teaching Methods

As TIEC’s Program manager, Steven Kroman earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Boston University in 2009 and his master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Foreign Language Education in 2013. He taught EFL in Japan for four years, simultaneously achieving top level proficiency in Japanese, before coming back to Austin to continue his education.  He has been working at TIEC since 2013 where he has been preparing international students for matriculation into US universities and training teachers to improve their ESL/EFL teaching.  He specializes in language learning theories and methodologies as well as teaching reading and writing.